What is the Capital of Minnesota?

St Paul river city view

Minnesota is a state located in the upper midwest region of the United States. It’s the twelfth largest state in the U.S. and is home to almost 6 million people. Minnesota is known as the land of the lakes because there are over 10,000 in the state. But where is Minnesota’s capital?

The capital of Minnesota is Saint Paul, a city that lies on the shorelines of the Mississippi. It was chosen as the Virginia territory’s capital back in 1849 and officially became the state’s capital in 1858 when they joined the union.

This article will discuss what the capital of Minnesota is. So keep reading; we have everything you need to know about the City St. Paul, the capital of Minnesota. 

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Where is the Capital of Minnesota Located?

St. Paul city location on Minnesota state map
St. Paul city location on Minnesota state map

The capital of Minnesota is the City of Saint Paul, a city located in the southeastern portion of Virginia. Saint Paul lies on the head of the Mississippi and is adjourned on its west side by Minneapolis. These two cities are often grouped together as the twin cities due to their close proximity. 

The City of Saint Paul is known as a place that runs deep with tradition and diversity and has a solid economic vitality. It has more shoreline on the Mississippi river than any other city and is home to the elegant summit avenue, a well-preserved victorian avenue. It also boasts excellent outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, fishing, and some of the best winter activities in any state. 

One of the most interesting facts about Saint Paul is that it’s home to the largest hockey mural in the world. It adorns the Treasure Island Center in the Downtown area of the city. As well as this, it’s recognized as one of the earliest pioneers of craft beers, thanks to the Summit Brewing Company, which opened in 1986.

A Brief History of Saint Paul

The area surrounding the modern City of Saint Paul has been inhabited for thousands of years, with the burial mounds scattered across the Indian Mound Park bearing witness to this. These were most likely occupied by the Hopewell Native Americans who lived in the area some 2000 years ago. 

As we come into recent history, around the 17th century, the Mdewakanton Dakota, a tribe of the Sioux, lived in the area surrounding the modern city, not from the burial mounds. They were forced from their ancestral grounds after being displaced by advancements made by an enemy tribe, the Ojibwe. 

The Dakota named the area around the City of Saint Paul, Imniza-ska, meaning white cliffs. This was a reference to the exposed sandstone cliffs that are easily visible on the eastern side of the Mississippi river. 

One of the first documented expeditions of the area was by a foreigner named Johnathan Carver, who spent some time around modern Saint Paul in 1767. He wrote about the historic Wakan Tipo that lay on the bluff below the burial mounds. 

Not long after the United States purchased the territory of Louisiana from the French in 1803, Zebulon Pike, an army Lieutenant of the U.S, was able to negotiate with the Dakota to buy almost 100,000 acres of their indigenous land to build a military fort on in 1805.

In 1819, another fort was built on the Mississippi and Minnesota confluence and named Fort Snelling. By the year 1837, a treaty the U.S government made with the Native American tribes, ceded all their lands east of the Mississippi River to the United States government. 

Land was first claimed in the area in 1838 by Pierre Parrant, a tavern owner, whose nickname was Pig’s Eye and Lucien Abraham Perry shortly followed him. The early name of the area was named Pig’s Eye Landing after Pierre until 1841. 

By 1841, a Roman Catholic missionary, Lucien Galtier, built a log cabin and dedicated it to Saint Peter, one of the apostles of Jesus. From this the modern name of the city, Saint Paul, received its name.

The City of Saint Paul played a huge part in the economic development of the Midwest region. Its strategic positioning was used as a commercial center for trading goods. Furs were one of the first items traded in the area.

When did St. Paul became the Capital of Minnesota?

St. Paul, Minnesota night skyline along the Mississippi River
St. Paul, Minnesota night skyline along the Mississippi River

The City of Saint Paul was named the capital of the Minnesota territory in 1849. Just about a decade later in 1958 it was officially named Minnesota’s state capital when the territory decided to join the United States.

There was an attempt to change the state’s capital to Saint Peter in 1857, a settlement in the extreme east of Minnesota. A bill was passed, and it was about to be signed in, yet Joseph J. Rolette stole the bill before the governor could sign it. He hid it in a hotel until the end of the legislative session; thus, Saint Paul remained the capital.

Why is St. Paul the Capital Of Minnesota?

Cityscape of St. Paul Minnesota
Cityscape of St. Paul Minnesota

At the time of the establishment of Minnesota as a territory, it had three major settlements: Saint Anthony, Saint Paul, and Stillwater. Officials working on behalf of the Minnesota government decided it was best to spread out the major institutions between these three settlements.

Thus, Saint Paul was made the capital due to its centralized location, Minneapolis or Saint Anthony was named the home of the Minnesota University, and Stillwater was selected as the site for the state’s territorial prison. 

Best Places to visit in the St. Paul

The City of Saint Paul boasts plenty of sites to see. Here are the five best places to visit in Saint Paul. 

  1. The Minnesota State Fair

If you’re planning on taking a trip to Saint Paul with your family, then the Minnesota state fair is not to be missed. The fair takes you back to the agricultural roots of Minnesota, where you’ll find farm animals of all kinds, tractors, and plenty of street food. There are also presentations on various buildings as well as performances. 

  1. Science Museum Of Minnesota

If you’re interested in learning about Science, then the Science Museum of Minnesota is an excellent option for a day out. This is one of the state’s most popular museums and a place visitors return to time and time again. Explore the many engaging exhibits and engage in extraordinary live events.

  1. Cathedral of Saint Paul.

Even if you’re not a religious person, a trip to Saint Paul’s Cathedral is a must when you’re in the city. Its beautiful architecture will leave anyone seeing it for the first time in awe. Its marble columns, statues, and rose glass windows are a sight to see. 

  1. CHS Field. 

A trip to the CHS field for a family day out is a great option. Like any great baseball park, the home of the Saints has it all, cold and cheap beverages and vendors who work the aisles selling delicious hot dogs all day. 

  1. Historic Fort Snelling 

A trip to the historic Fort Snelling is like a walk through the ages of history. The occupation of this area dates back well before the arrival of Europeans. The Daoka Native Americans once called this home before it was sold to colonists. Explore this part of Saint Paul’s past with informative tours and demonstrations. 

See Also

Capital Cities 

Hi and welcome to my travel blog! Based in London, I work in investment banking in a quantitative field and although I am not part of the travel industry, I have a ton of passion for travel. My blog is a reference guide for my fellow travelers with the same passion as me. Hopefully the blog is easy to navigate and my aim is to bring the most relevant and interesting information before you begin your journey!